The Liverpool FC Women are FNALLY about to kick off the season, and they decided to kick off their first match week back in the WSL with some big news. The club announced that Irish forward Leanne Kiernan has signed a new deal with the club, presumably extending the deal through the end of the 2023-24 season on higher wages.
The perfect news to start the week pic.twitter.com/R13CGhPbM0— Liverpool FC Women (@LiverpoolFCW) September 5, 2022
It is a great signal of intent for the club, tying down the leading scorer from a season ago. At just 23 years of age, Kiernan is entering into her prime and seems ready to be a menace for WSL defenses. While she is known for her straight line speed and willingness to make run after run, Kiernan has proven to be a potent poacher in the box, showing great awareness and movement to get on the end of balls into the box.
Liverpool manager Matt Beard felt getting a new contract for his number 9 was a top priority. Whether playing through the middle or out wide, Beard felt that Kiernan is integral to his team’s success, both now and in the future.
“It was important for us to extend Leanne’s contract coming into the final year,” said Beard.
“Physically it’s the best I’ve ever seen her and I’ve worked with her for a long time now. She’s had a good pre-season, she had a great season last year and she offers us versatility in the front positions as well, she can play wide and down the middle. Her attitude, her application and her personality is just fantastic and she’s going to be an integral part of the team for years to come.”
For Kiernan, it made perfect sense to extend her stay on Merseyside. She feels very comfortable with the club and the manager, citing the family feel the squad have as an important part of her decision.
“This is a thrilling moment for me and my family, and a really exciting time,” said the Irishwoman.
“I think this club is kind of like home for me. People know that if life’s good outside of football you get to perform better on the pitch. I really like the people, I really like the place, and the girls are great around me. I couldn’t have won any awards without them. I’m getting used to Beardy being beside me when I sign a contract, this will be my fifth year knowing him! He understands me well and gets the best out of me, so hopefully I can repay him in return.”
With the new contract sorted, the striker is raring to get back on the pitch for competitive matches again. While it’s a big step from the FA Women’s Championship to the WSL, Kiernan feels she and the club are ready for the challenge.
“I feel like we’re going to be tested this year but we’ll be ready. We’ve got good characters in the changing room, maturity-wise and just to bring us on as a group, so I’m really looking forward to it.”
“It was a really good season last year and I was really happy within myself and within the team. I feel like Liverpool – the people and the place – are very similar to the Irish. Outside of football, I have a little community where everyone knows each other so thank you to the Scouse people for making me so welcome!
“I’m raring to go to get back to the WSL. Last season we had a different task to do and this season will be different but I’m really looking forward to it. Pre-season has gone really well both personally and as a team and I feel that we’re all eager to go.”